Although in the Denizeli Province and beyond the normal range for trips from Dalyan , I have included it in the website as it happens to be one of the most popular tours people book when visiting Turkey , and it is recognised by birders as a good site for seeing Finsch’s Wheatear amongst other birds. So you can combine birding with history and natural phenonamen .
If you are on a family holiday in Dalyan with limited time it may well be that you have to visit by booking with a tour guide. However, I would suggest you visit under your own steam and hire a car and enjoy an uncrowded visit by spending the night in Pamukkale village and birding in the morning before enjoying this protected World Heritage Site.
Pamukkale and Hierapolis were jointly declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
First founded by King Eumenes II of Pergamon soon after 190 BC , Hierapolis was originally a fortified military colony. But the city enjoyed its greatest prosperity during the 2nd and 3rd century when, with its natural hot springs and it became an popular spa centre renowned for it's healing properties. Numerous temples were constructed, and because of these, the city became known as Hierapolis, which translates to ‘holy city’. Severe earthquakes destroyed the city in 133 BC, and again in 60 AD. Following the latter, Hierapolis was rebuilt by the Romans. Another earthquake in the early 7th century caused significant damage but the city was only abandoned for good after the earthquake of 1354. What remains is predominantly the ruins of the Roman city and the reported site of the grave of Philip the Apostle.
The ruins of a grand colonnaded street are parallel to the travertines for just over 1 km, extending between the necropolis to the north and a Byzantine church at the southern end. On a slope above the rest of the Hierapolis ruins is the mighty theatre with its facade over 100 meters long and incorporating two tiers of seating, each with twenty six rows. Built during the reigns of the Roman Emperors Hadrian and Septimus Severus, the theatre is incredibly well preserved, retaining much of its original detail with the imperial VIP boxes, and some decorative panels along the stage still surviving. More information and directions can be found in the PDF below.
Entrance fee for 2023 (April) 400TL (£16 equiv) parking 20 TL (80p equiv)